Wells Fargo Commits $1 Million to Scholarship America for People with Disabilities

Company celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Oct 25, 2016 9:00 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, October 25, 2016 /3BL Media/ – In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has committed $1 million over the next four years to Scholarship America to develop and implement a special scholarship program to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training necessary to succeed in the career path of their choice. 

“Wells Fargo’s generous $1 million commitment for scholarships will help people with disabilities obtain the education they need to compete for jobs on a more even playing field,” said Robert Ballard, president and CEO, Scholarship America.

Scholarship America, the nation’s largest provider of postsecondary educational assistance programs, and Wells Fargo worked together on the application and selection process for the scholarships using the best practices from the highest quality postsecondary educational aid programs.

“Wells Fargo is committed to financially empowering and employing people with disabilities,” said Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. “Working with Scholarship America is just one of the many ways we help make career aspirations a reality for people with disabilities.”

Application Process

Applications for the scholarship program are being accepted online at https://scholarsapply.org/pwdscholarship through January 17, 2017 or until 700 applications are submitted, whichever comes first.  Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have an identifiable disability (defined as someone who has, or considers themselves to have, a long-term or recurring issue that impacts one or more major life activities)
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent
  • Be a high school senior or graduate who plans to enroll or who are already enrolled in full‑time or half-time (at least 6 credits per term) undergraduate study at an accredited two‑year or four‑year college or university in the United States for the entire 2017-2018 academic year

Applicants will be required to complete the online application and provide a current academic transcript. The online application is accessible for users of all abilities. A dedicated toll-free phone number and email address will be provided to applicants who may need additional assistance. Each applicant will also be required to submit an essay on the question:  What life experiences have shaped who you are today?  

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria will include the consideration of academic performance, demonstrated leadership, work experience, a brief statement of career and educational goals, and an outside appraisal. Financial need will also be considered.


Awards for full-time students are up to $2,500 per year and are renewable up to three years.  Awards for part-time students are up to $1,250 and are renewable up to seven years or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever occurs first.

For more information about the scholarships, please visit https://scholarsapply.org/pwdscholarship.

Wells Fargo’s Overall Commitment to People with Disabilities and National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Wells Fargo is committed to financially empowering and employing people with disabilities. Since 2013, Wells Fargo has donated more than $25 million to U.S. nonprofits supporting people with disabilities, including $450,000 in 2016 to four key nonprofit programs that help empower people with disabilities to succeed financially.  They are, the National Disability Institute, National Federation of the Blind, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst.

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo developed a variety of activities online and throughout the country.  Activities included:

Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition – Online Course

Wells Fargo together with the Perkins School for the Blind and the Harvard Extension School co-developed a free online course that gives hiring managers and recruiters the tools they need to attract, interview and onboard qualified candidates with disabilities. Participants learn practical steps to create an inclusive workplace for all. The course is now available and can be found at Perkins.org/edX.

Accessibility Hackathon

Wells Fargo planned its third hackathon set for early November where internal teams will work for two days to develop technology that will improve the accessibility of a product, service, or platform used by team members at Wells Fargo.

The Signature Event

In Iowa, Wells Fargo’s DiverseAbilities Team Member Network hosted its annual Signature Event on Oct. 11-13.  The event was designed to educate team members about various disabilities through 10 interactive tables at three different locations. Team members learned how to navigate a wheelchair, communicate with a speech impairment, walked with a blindfold and a sight cane, and communicated with a hearing impairment.

To learn more about Wells Fargo’s commitment to accessibility, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/about/diversity/accessibility/

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About Scholarship America

For nearly 60 years, Scholarship America has worked directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities to empower people to achieve their educational goals. As the nation’s largest private education support organization, having distributed over $3.5 billion to more than 2.2 million students, Scholarship America is now working to further engage the private sector to support programs and policies that advance equity in postsecondary education and help students overcome barriers to access, persistence and attainment. More information is available at scholarshipamerica.org.